How to nail the final job interview
Job interviews are challenging, and the more you want the job, the more you feel the stress. Your first interview went really well, but this is far from over.
We already talked about job interviews and writing a CV, and even if in some jobs (like freelance teaching) they are part of our professional lives, they always represent a stressful factor. To make things worse, very often you have to attend a series of interviews, every time with different layers of difficulties, before getting the job.
Whether you’re an aspiring English teacher or a TEFL professional, such as a sales executive or travel agent, this guide on how to nail the final interview is for you.
In this article, we analyze the final interview.
A random process
At the beginning of your career, you are confident that if you work hard for it, you will get the job of your dreams, but especially when you work in a competitive market, you soon find out that this is rarely the case. Nailing the job you want does not solely depend on you, but on a series of random factors, like the part of town you are currently based in, or the personal experience of the recruiter who does the initial selection.
This randomness makes the recruiting process a lot less scientific than you might expect and knowing it is scary.
How could you get prepared for something that heavily relies on a series of casual factors?
The Purpose of the Final Interview
Although there is not really a standard for interviewing people, every nation tends to have its own personality and protocol to follow. For example, in UK it’s custom to thank the interviewer with an email the day after the interview. Doing that shows that you know the protocol and you will probably be an easy person to work with. If you don’t follow the non-scripted procedure, it might communicate a lack of interest or knowledge of the protocol. In other places, this is not considered something important, but they will have other procedures to continue the interview process.
The first interview is usually to screen the candidates and select the most promising ones. They are generic and depending on the size of the company, they are usually handled by a junior recruiter. Sometimes you need just that one interview to get the job, but if the requirements and the salary offered are higher, then it is normal to expect more competition, and that usually results in a series of interviews.
You will be invited to another, and another interview, each one with a specific focus. If you are shortlisted for the final interview, you have obviously made a great impression on your interviewer, but just because you passed the first stage, that doesn’t mean you have got the job. Now the selection is getting harder for the recruiter because there are just a handful of candidates.
In the next interview, you will meet other members of staff, will see the offices and the company will try to understand if you will be a good fit for the rest of the team. Most likely, they are looking for someone with peculiarities that are currently missing in the company, yet is not too different from the rest of the staff and the company culture.
In other words, you are walking on eggs.
How to Nail the Final Interview
Usually, the questions asked in an interview are designed to gauge whether you’re fit for the job and the company or not. Do your best to reply getting straight to the point, with practical examples, and if you find the right opportunity, show interest by asking some questions yourself.
Sometimes the questions asked by the interviewer are generic and difficult to answer. They might be draining and can induce nervousness. Here are a few tips to overcome that feeling of surrender you might feel.
Learn More About the Company and the Interviewer
Your final interview will be with the same person who interviewed you previously, a panel of interviewers, or with someone entirely new. Sometimes they will let you know in advance, and sometimes they won’t. Regardless, it’s always good to do your research and arrive prepared. Search up your potential interviewers on the company website and check other sources (like LinkedIn) to find out more about them. Finding out you have common interests could be good to help the conversation, but don’t base your whole interview just on it, because this might look bad on you.
Remember the Answers You Gave Previously
Your interviewer is probably making notes on the things you’ve said since your very first interaction with them. The chances are that your interviewer will go over most of these points during the final interview. Therefore, you must remember all the responses you gave previously.
Stretching up our thoughts to appear more likeable is considered acceptable, yet lying is another story, and if the interviewer will find it out, that will look extremely bad on you. Imagine you previously said you know a software and then you say you don’t.
We all want to look at our best during an interview, yet let’s avoid telling lies.
Use Specific Vocabulary
Every profession has specific expressions that people working in that sector are familiar with. There is no need to be too technical, especially if the person you are talking to doesn’t cover the role you are applying for. For example, it is possible that you are applying for a teaching position and the person interviewing you is not necessarily a teacher.
Using properly some expressions that are common among teachers, such as Methodology, Kinesthetic learning, Hibryd lessons or Gap-fill (just to name a few) shows you are competent in the area you want to be considered for. Don’t show off, yet there is no need to explain concepts that have a name.
Brief Them About Why You’re The Best Choice
As an end note, thank your interviewer for inviting you for the interview and express your excitement regarding the thought of potentially working with them. Discuss the kind of environment you like and how their company meets your requirements. Top off the interview by summarizing your achievements at your previous jobs and why you’ll make a great fit for their company.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the purpose of a final interview is for the interviewer to determine whether you’re the right person for a job or not. Whether you’re looking to become an English teacher, sales executive, or travel agent, the interviewer will focus on searching for signs that you’re determined to work for that particular organization. From your body language and your speech fluency to the quality of your answers, every single act of yours in the interview room will determine whether you get the job or not.
It’s All About Luck
There are many factors you can’t control in this interview and not passing it or not doesn’t just depend on your value. For example, it is possible that the company has already someone with your profile and skills, or you are too different from the rest of the team and the projects they are currently working on. If they are looking for someone to create a team, this might be the only reason they prefer someone else instead of you.
Although this hurts, it is important to understand that there is a bigger project behind, and even if for you, getting this job might be everything, for the company it is just a small piece of the puzzle and being problematic will not help.
On the other hand, accepting defeat with elegance might leave the door open. There are many reasons why the candidate of their choice is all of a sudden unavailable, and what was a No initially might become a Yes. Honestly, this doesn’t happen very often, but it does. At the same time, you now have some contacts in the company and you can contact them in the future. For example, the next time you see an opening with that company, instead of generically applying with your CV, now you could also contact them directly to show your interest.